Such A Tease (and the giveaway!)

Let’s see . . . what should I tell you about today?

I could tell you about:

A trip to Harvard. I felt smart there.

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A historic mansion in Boston. Very posh.

Matisse in His Studio. The artist and some of the artifacts that inspired him.

I could tell you tons about the Boston Marathon.

Inspiring runners of all different abilities.

Inspiring because they were so fast.

Inspiring because they kept a sense of humor.

Inspiring because they were ordinary folk doing something extraordinary–these young women, who we went to watch, were two of 30,000!

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And folks who supported every single one.

I could go on and on, and tell you about spring coming to the North Country of upstate New York, or the opening of our local ice cream shop, or I could give you updates on weaving, quilting, all kinds of crafting.

But I won’t. I’ll stop being a tease and I’ll tell you what you’ve been waiting to hear, eager to hear . . .

Who wins the hand-woven key fob?!

We had lots of entries, from all over the world, and I do wish I had dozens of key fobs to give away. But I had to use my random number generator to choose one of you.

I love pushing the button on my random number generator—the suspense, the anticipation, the thrill!

My random number generator said I should give the key fob to Judy, at New England Garden and Thread!

But I enjoyed hitting the button and the suspense, the anticipation, the thrill, so much, I hit the button again—what the heck!

And the generator said I should give another key fob to Jean, at One Small Stitch. (This one is sort of daunting—Jean is a weaver of many, MANY years experience! She has been supportive of my learning to weave since even before I took my first workshop.)

So, Judy and Jean, if you will email me at kerrycan2@gmail.com, with your addresses, I’ll send your gift!

And you can choose–either the key fob I originally pictured or this brown and turquoise one I’ve made since. I have two of each.

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Everyone else, take heart. I like giving stuff away and, before long, I bet my fingers will be itching to hit that button and choose another random number!

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Celebrating the Process, and a Giveaway

The process or the product? The doing or the done?

Have you considered where you get the satisfaction in your making? Whether you bake or garden or write or craft in some fashion, do you do it because you love the doing or is it the finished product that thrills you?

I’ve come to realize that I’m process-oriented, perhaps to an unusual degree. I love the doing and seem to care little for the done.

When I recently wrote about finishing the marathon yoyo coverlet, many readers asked what I was going to do with it. I was stumped. The absolute truth is probably nothing much.

Part of that is purely practical—the texture of the coverlet would make it a magnet for my cats.

But it is also true is that I’ve already sort of lost interest in the coverlet.

It was interesting as something to do, to make, to immerse myself in, but now it’s just another quilt in the house. Even my all-time favorite quilt, the 1812 cot-to-coffin quilt, is simply folded up now and stored in an armoire. The wool throw I wove? It’s in the cedar chest. The silver jewelry I’ve crafted? Tarnishing in the jewelry box.

The bottom line is that it’s the process of making that engages me, challenges me, makes me feel alive. The products sort of seem like just more things in the house–pretty things, but things nonetheless.

It’s the interacting with the materials, the touch, the skill, the focus, that I love.

The yoyo coverlet will get dragged out for the biennial show of my quilters’ guild, because I like warm fuzzies as well as the next person, but it will probably live in a cupboard or cedar chest until then.

I think this is also what leads to the Etsy shops I have. I love the process of making chocolates but don’t want to, and shouldn’t, eat all of what I make. What to do? Give some away and sell the rest.

I love weaving but one person can use only so many kitchen towels and scarves. But I feel driven to weave—I love the process. What to do? Give some away and sell the rest.

So, in support of the idea of giving some away and to celebrate the opening of, and the first couple of sales in, the newest Etsy shop, Woven Together, I’m going to have a random drawing for a handwoven kitchen towel.

So far the towel looks like this.

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Do you love it?

The winner of the drawing will be asked to tell me what colors s/he would like to see added to the towel and, when all the pieces on the warp are complete, I’ll send the towel to the winner! It might be a few weeks before it’s finished . . . because I’ll be enjoying the process.

Anyone can enter, from any part of the world. To enter the drawing, I ask you to tell us, in the comments, whether you are process-oriented or product-oriented—what motivates your making/doing? Try not to just say “both” . . . .

And, if you’re inclined, visit Woven Together, and give me some feedback about what you’d like to see more of in the shop. This latter is optional, though!

The deadline will be midnight on Tuesday, November 8. As our Election Day, that’s a very important day here in the US. I will be voting, to enjoy the process and also, I am hopeful, the product of that particular action!

Many, Many Yoyos–And A Winner!

IMG_9773So, you guessed, 25 of you did, the number of fabric yoyos I made. And I counted.

And I admit that, as I was counting, I was rooting for the people who guessed the highest numbers because, if they won, I won.

After all, the point is to get enough of these little things made to make something big and impressive out of them. According to my calculations, I will need over 1300 1.5-inch yoyos to make even a twin-bed sized coverlet! Yikes!

So, I was very happy and considered myself to be the big winner when I found that I had made exactly 400 yoyos!

No one guessed exactly that number but Kate, from Maison Bentley Style, had faith in me and guessed 399!

Kate and I have been blog pals since almost the very beginning of my blog—she has been loyal and supportive all along. I am so pleased to be sending her the beautiful kitchen towel! (Kate, I sent you email, asking for your address!)

Thank you all for participating—this exercise lit a fire under me and, in fact, I have added 40 more yoyos to the pile since I made the original post. Only 860-some-odd to go!

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You Could Win!

I am in the mood to give something away.

I’ve been thinking about it for a while but I wasn’t sure what to give.

Then I was ironing pretty vintage kitchen towels and I thought, “Hey, I know! A pretty vintage kitchen towel!” Because I’m sure you all share my dishtowel jones, right?

Right!

But which towel?

That was easy—this one.

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It’s vintage. I wouldn’t want you to settle for anything less than vintage.

It’s pretty. Fresh and unusual colors on a bright white background, all in crisp linen. Yum.

It’s unused and clean. Because I wouldn’t want to send you a towel you might consider icky.

It has flowers, for the gardeners, and tulips and daffodils, for those experiencing spring and those already longing for it. And the flowers are turquoise because, even though turquoise flowers are rare or non-existent in nature, they shouldn’t be!

It’s an all-around perfect towel! I hope you think so, too!

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To get a chance to win the towel, you can encourage me to do a chore I’ve been avoiding.

I need to find out how many of these yo-yos I’ve made so far.

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I’ve been avoiding this chore because I have a notion of how many yo-yos I will need for even a twin-bed-sized coverlet and I am loathe to acknowledge how far I have to go. I just haven’t been able to bring myself to count them.

So, I’m asking you to guess how many yo-yos I have in this pile and jar. In a week, after you’ve had a chance to guess, I will HAVE to count them so I know who to send the towel to!

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The fine print:

  • I’ll accept guesses, in the comments here, until noon, my time, on December 6.
  • Anyone, in any country, can guess. This towel is willing to travel!
  • Only one guess per person.
  • In the case of correct ties, I will do a random draw of those who made the correct guesses.
  • If no one guesses correctly, I’ll send the towel to the person with the closest guess.

Please make your guess and encourage others to guess, too–this towel needs an excellent home! And I need to get busy making more yo-yos . . .

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Stray Needs “Forever” Home: A Vintage Giveaway

IMG_2531This sweet towel is one of the first items I listed when I opened my Etsy shop almost three years ago. You may recall that I see my shop as a sort of SPCA for unwanted linens.

Many other items have sold in the meantime but this little towel just sits and waits. I’ve begun to feel very sorry for it—it deserves a loving home. I could lower the price so it might sell but, honestly, I’d rather give it to someone who would really appreciate it than to sell it to someone who isn’t willing to spend ten dollars for it.

So, if you think this pretty towel would make a nice addition to your kitchen and would promise to love it forever, leave a comment assuring me of that. I’ll choose a random winner (assuming more than one person wants the towel!) next Sunday.

IMG_2528And to sweeten the pot, I’ll also send the winner a balsam sachet I made. I made it with the cathedral window piecing design and used bits of damaged vintage linens, with embroidery, in the “windows.” It’s filled with Adirondack balsam needles and smells yummy!

yellow green emb 1-4Leave me a comment if you’d like your name entered in the giveaway; anyone is eligible so international readers can get in on this, too!

** Edited to add: If the winner lives in a country that will not allow balsam to be shipped in, as seems to be the case with New Zealand, just let me know and I’ll send the towel only!

Happy National Chocolate Day . . . A Giveaway!

National Chocolate Day?! Now that’s a holiday I can get on board with! In fact, I want to write a book because I have a title that I think will sell a million copies. I’m going to call it 50 Shades of Chocolate!

To celebrate National Chocolate Day, I’m going to give one of my North American readers a one-pound sampler of the chocolates from KerryCan. It’s not that I don’t love my blog friends from around the world—I just don’t like to think of what international mail would do to a delicate box of candy.

So, if you’re from the US or Canada and would like to enter the giveaway, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post. Tell me, in the comment, what your favorite chocolate candy is—do you like chocolate straight? Or do you go for the chocolate-covered caramels? Or chocolate with peanut butter? Or mint? Or something else? Let me know and I’ll assign you a number, based on order of comments. Then I’ll use a random number generator to come up with the winner.

Be sure to leave your comment within 72 hours of the time this post was made (5 a.m. Eastern Daylight Savings time in the U.S., on 10/28/13)! Good luck! (And if you don’t win, all of the candy is available in my shop!)